VisitBritain Targets Canadian Trade, Travellers Ahead of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Alexander Stadium for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Image courtesy of Birmingham 2022.
Alexander Stadium for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Image courtesy of Birmingham 2022.

With a week to go until the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, taking place from 28JUL to 08AUG, VisitBritain says it is ramping up its activity to boost visits from Canada to the Games and beyond.

VisitBritain is hosting 19 top travel trade buyers, travel agents and media from Canada on tailored educational visits to Birmingham and the West Midlands during the Games, providing the chance to try first-hand the latest tourism products and experiences.

The first of the trade and media visits begin 24JUL, with the last one finishing up on 10AUG, will see participants attending sporting events at the Games including the opening or closing ceremony as well as visiting destinations and attractions across the West Midlands region in England. Experiences range from a river cruise exploring Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon, a culinary course in the heart of Birmingham’s Balti triangle and chocolate tasting at Cadbury’s Chocolate World to a trip back in time at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, where parts of the Peaky Blinders TV series were filmed.

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VisitBritain’s latest research indicates pent-up demand for international travel from Canada. Seventy-seven per cent of Canadians it surveyed “were keen” to take an international leisure trip in the next 12 months, 51 per cent “definitely would” and, of those, 56 per cent had not yet booked or decided where to go, opportunities for VisitBritain to influence decision-making, destination-choice and bookings. From 10-23FEB 2022, VisitBritain studied 500 Canadians ages 18 and older who had travelled abroad in the past 5 years.

Flight bookings from North America to the U.K. are also continuing to show strong recovery, currently 6 per cent up on the same month in 2019 according to – according to the latest available flight booking data from ForwardKeys as of 04JUL 2022.

“Canada is a very important inbound tourism market and we are delighted to be hosting Canadian travel buyers, travel agents and media during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, showing that Britain is packed full of fresh and exciting experiences to come and enjoy right now and that our industry is ready to welcome back visitors and provide a first-class experience,” VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said.

“We know there is pent-up demand for travel, our connections with Canada run deep and major sporting events are proven tourism draws. The Games, set to be watched by a global audience of hundreds of millions, will also show our hospitality and warm welcome to the world as well as Britain’s ability to host events of the highest calibre,” Yates concluded.

The trade and media visits are part of VisitBritain’s partnership with the West Midlands Growth Company, through the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP). VisitBritain is running a two-year program of targeted activity in Canada, funded through the BATP, to boost awareness of the West Midland’s tourism offer and drive bookings to Britain.

Activity in Canada has ranged from content partnerships with media, training travel trade, hosting trade and press trips, and harnessing showcase events including The Queen’s Baton Relay visit and countdown milestones.

VisitBritain is also using its global channels to highlight the Games and associated experiences and destinations throughout 2022 including its dedicated ‘hub.’ Its ‘Welcome to Another Side of Britain’ GREAT marketing campaign is also harnessing the Games to drive visits, alongside this year’s other landmark events including the ongoing celebrations for HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the ‘Unboxed’ creative events across the UK.

For more information on VisitBritain, visit its web site.

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